Working from home is many people’s goal. No traffic, no train delays, no office politics. But if you’re going to work from home full or part time, your work area needs to be carefully planned to make it comfortable and functional. By making some simple changes to either an existing office or when planning a new design, your choices of furniture are now possible to create an office space that can blend in to your house, especially when space is limited.
If your office will be in an existing room, such as a living or dining room, the use of a divider of some sorts will allow the room to be used for both purposes at the same time. Modular cube units are idea for this. Mix the cubes so that some face the office and others face the living space. If you prefer something softer, then a screen is a better choice. To save on costs, look for or make a screen using materials that match the decor of the room.
When selecting a desk, look for one that will allow you to close up sections, or the entire desk, with out putting anything away. This will allow you to leave you work undisturbed and be able to pick back up the next day. Also, having a desk that allow you to pull sections out will provide more room to work, when space is tight, and will provide sufficient storage when needed. If adding a desk is not possible and you’re sharing your office in a dinning room, you could use your dinning room table as your daytime desk and add a sideboard or small table with shelves for storing paperwork at the end of the day.
One essential aspect to the work area is lighting. The best light to work with is a directional light that can angle to illuminate your work area. The room should also have good natural light or artificial ambient light during the day or evening, so the contrast between the brightness of the computer screen and the rest of the room is never too great. The use of overhead or wall lights will balance the lighting.
If your work area is shared with another area, it is more important than ever to be well organized. If you do not have a desk to store pens, paper, rulers and every other essential items, consider using furniture like file cabinets that can used to store these items. Shelves can be used for books, box files, and magazines that can be fitted with a blind to hide them when you’re not working.
When looking for a desk that will be your computer work area, make a list of all the computer peripherals that you will be using. Make sure the desk is wide enough to accommodate a monitor if a flat panel monitor is not an option. The monitor should be at eye level for best comfort. If you are thinking of enclosing your PC, be sure there is ample air flow to prevent overheating. Look for a desk that has a low keyboard shelf with a sliding tray that can be pulled out when needed. A good desk will also include shelves for adding other components such as printers, scanners, zip drives and wireless routers. Most of all make sure the chair you choose will be comfortable and adjustable for spending long house in front of the desk. Aim to spend as much money as you can and economize elsewhere.
Having a home office that blends into an existing room is possible without making dramatic changes. Best of all, you can do it without spending a fortune and enjoy working from home!